By Kyle Krajewski
Sophomore Andrew Dunn Jr. became the fifth Golden Bear in program history to win a national championship in wrestling, third in the 285-weight class. The other Golden Bears who competed, senior T.C. Warner and senior Jeff Reimel, were named All-Americans and brought home the first top-10 team national finish in program history.
Dunn Jr., in his first year competing for KU after wrestling for Virginia Tech his freshman year, only dropped two matches all season after going 26-2, finishing the year with 18 straight wins to claim Super Region I and NCAA DII championships.
Fourth-ranked Dunn Jr. faced the top-ranked wrestler and reigning national champion in the semifinals and took him down with a 7-6 decision, earning a spot in the national final.
In a more defensive championship match, Dunn Jr. faced the fifth-ranked wrestler and won his national title with a 2-1 decision.
Reimel ranked No. 1 in the 184 weight class and finished the 2018 season as an All-American with a fifth-place finish. He was looking for a better placement this season. Reimel met his match in the semifinals and was disqualified from that match after three misconduct calls. Reimel would go on to claim sixth in his weight class and earn his second straight All-American honor.
Warner also became a two-time All-American in his weight class of 174 by claiming fifth place. In the consolation quarterfinals, he won with an 11-2 major decision, then fell in the consolation semifinals by pin. Warner then went on to cap his career with a win in the fifth-place match by knocking off the top-ranked wrestler in the weight class.
The three wrestlers combined to earn 41 points for the KU wrestling team as a whole at the national championship. This was enough for the Golden Bears to place 10th and become the first team in program history to finish top 10.